I wasn't ready for you. I was ready
for a brawl. I was ready to trade in the hand
I'd been dealt for new cards, all of them
the queen of hearts. I was ready
to fight my mother for the next four years,
to blow so many holes in our relationship that we're
still half-sunk & bailing water out of a boat
we don't recognise anymore.
I was ready for a drink. I was ready
to hit rock bottom & start digging, to put out
my own fire with dirt and a shovel. I was ready
to be the kind of shitty girlfriend that leaves
you hanging on the other end of the line
while I chain smoke cigarettes
in the rain,
to spend six years and counting
waiting for another man to hit me,
to stay up late every night deciding
whether to walk away this time
or close my eyes and take it.
I was a rabid dog in too-small skin, itching
to break everything around me
until I felt whole again.
I wasn't ready to be happy.
I was on hands and skinned knees crawling
towards the day that I would.